I love Thai food. It’s one of my greatest vices. You can keep your burgers and fries, your greasy pizza and chicken, your sushi and falafel. But please don’t ever take away my Thai food (Indian food coming in a close second).
Unfortunately, living in Ansonia usually doesn’t lend itself well to a Thai food craving. If you’re based in Ansonia or Derby and you find yourself wanting Thai food, you’ve got to either find a place nearby (usually in Hamden, New Haven, or Woodbridge) or you’ve got to be willing to make it for yourself.
Well, it turns out that there’s a new option: You can just head on down to Bangkok Room, which opened last month on Main Street in Ansonia.
Ansonia is a bit of a desert when it comes to southeast Asian cuisine, so when I heard about Bangkok Room opening up I knew that I would be writing a review for it. Unfortunately, my excitement may have gotten the better of me. Over the course of 2 weeks, I ate 3 meals there, and I had the perfect built-in excuse to do so: It’s for work!
So, how’s the food, you ask? Doesn’t the fact that I ate there 3 times in 2 weeks tell you all you need to know?
To keep it short: The food was amazing. I spent two weeks in Thailand in 2015, and ever since then I have been on a mission to find Thai food in CT that tasted as delicious as the food I ate from the street carts over there, and Bangkok Room is the closest that I’ve come to that goal.
The dishes are generous, setting you back an average of between $10 and $15 a plate; the ingredients are fresh and authentic (I’m talking about all of the Thai basil, lemongrass, galangal, and nam pla that you can think of); and the cooking style is on point (everything isn’t covered in grease like you find at some of the other Thai restaurants in the area).
Over the course of my 3 visits to the restaurant, I tried the Drunken Noodles with Chicken, the Drunken Chicken (essentially the same thing as the drunken noodles, but served with rice instead), the Tom Yum (a hot and sour soup), and the Coconut Milk Soup (exactly what it sounds like). They were all delicious, hearty, and authentic to the principles of Thai cooking, which is to let the natural freshness and beauty of the ingredients shine through in a balance between sweet, salty, sour, and spicy.
My one complaint, though, hinges on the spice factor: Namely, it wasn’t there. Though the drunken noodles on the menu had a little chili pepper next to them (and though they should be incredibly spicy) when I received them I was pretty let down to find that they weren’t really spicy at all. I remedied this by asking for chili sauce to add to my dish, which definitely helped get me where I wanted to be, but it still wasn’t what I had hoped for.
The next time I went, when I ordered my food I asked them to make it as hot as it would be in Thailand (which the waitress referred to as “5-star spicy”). The meal that I got back was exactly what I had hoped for: As spicy as you would find in Thailand, but still well balanced between the other flavors. This level of heat definitely isn’t for newbies to Thai food, but if you’ve loved it in the past (or just like spicy food in general) then you should give it a shot. (Or try 4-star spicy instead to see if you could handle any hotter.)
I’ve got to say, it isn’t what I expected. The lighting was dim, the seating was quaint, and the room was small, making it honestly a great place for an intimate meal or date. Located on Main Street, parking isn’t a concern (there are plenty of lots around for you to choose from).
If You Want to Go
If you’re in the mood to try some Thai food right here in Ansonia, Bangkok Room is located at 76 Main Street, Ansonia. You can park on the street or one of the side lots (across the street, by Wells Fargo, or anywhere else you can find a spot). You can call ahead for reservations (203-516-5345) or just walk in for lunch or dinner. You can find the menu here.